Version Control in Azure DevOps: Managing Code Changes with Git and TFVC

Version control in Azure DevOps, formerly known as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), is a powerful feature that helps development teams manage and track changes to their source code, documents, and other artifacts. It allows multiple developers to collaborate on a project while keeping track of every change made to the codebase over time. Azure DevOps offers two main version control options: Git and Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC).


  1. Git is a distributed version control system widely used in modern software development. Azure DevOps provides native support for Git repositories, allowing teams to create and manage repositories directly within the Azure DevOps portal. With Git, each developer has a local copy of the entire repository, enabling them to work offline and commit changes locally. Git uses a distributed model, which means every developer has a full copy of the repository, including the complete history.

  2. Key features of Git in Azure DevOps:

    • Branching and merging:
    • Git makes it easy to create branches for separate development efforts, and later merge them back into the main branch (often called the "master" or "main" branch).
    • Pull requests:
    • Developers can submit pull requests to propose changes and have them reviewed by their peers. This facilitates collaboration and ensures code quality.
    • Code history and versioning:
    • Git keeps a detailed history of every commit, allowing you to easily trace changes, roll back to previous versions, and compare differences between versions.
    • Integrations:
    • Azure DevOps offers integrations with various development tools, such as Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio IDE, and other Git clients.

    Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC):

  1. TFVC is a centralized version control system that was the default choice in Azure DevOps before Git was introduced. While Git has gained popularity, TFVC is still used by some organizations, especially those with existing projects that rely on it. Unlike Git's distributed model, TFVC uses a centralized server to store the codebase.

  2. Key features of TFVC in Azure DevOps:

    • Exclusive checkout:
    • TFVC allows developers to lock files they are working on to prevent conflicts when multiple team members attempt to modify the same file simultaneously.
    • Shelvesets:
    • Developers can create shelvesets to save their changes on the server without committing them. This is useful for sharing work with others or temporarily setting aside changes.
    • History and versioning:
    • TFVC maintains a centralized history of changes, allowing you to track modifications, compare versions, and roll back to previous states.

Both Git and TFVC are fully integrated into Azure DevOps, providing features like code reviews, build pipelines, release management, and work item tracking. The choice between Git and TFVC depends on factors such as team preferences, existing projects, and workflows. Git is generally recommended for new projects or organizations embracing modern, distributed development practices.

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